The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama: Black Book of the American Left: Volume VII
a book by David Horowitz
(our site's book review)
In How Obama Betrayed America....And No One Is Holding Him Accountable, David Horowitz gets it mostly right about Obama's betrayal of our country, a man who aided Islamist supremacists like the Muslim Brotherhood in their global war of conquest and infiltration into the Obama administration. Barack Obama used IRS audits to punish his political enemies, which is an impeachable offense. His administration was overrun with flagrant cronyism and corruption. He followed the theories of radical community-organizer Saul Alinsky who learned his trade from the Chicago mob.
In The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama: Black Book of the American Left: Volume VII, Horowitz gets it right about Obozo, gets it mostly wrong about Dubya and warmongering, and he gets some things right about Clinton.
Horowitz does too much black and white thinking: we good, they bad, no greys here. It polarizes and gridlocks and divides and his extremist perspectives leave no room for discussion or compromise. His black perspectives leave no room for light to shine in and produce greys. His cast-in-stone stances allow no space for resolving continuum polarities via transcendent syntheses that let wisdom prevail over dogmatic bias.
Obama loved Terror Tuesday, since he got to play God and decide who to kill with drones that week
Obama loved Terror Tuesday, since he got to play God and decide who to kill with drones that week. Predator Drones would use Hellfire missiles and blast "suspects." Anyone carrying a cell phone in any way connected to a terrorist suspect would be blown to smithereens. The majority of these "terrorists" were innocent victims. And
Obama let terrorists attack in the Benghazi embassy in Libya and ignored pleas for help, resulting in four unnecessary U.S. deaths. And Obama's Mideast bungling created ISIS. The Muslim Brotherhood masks its goals and objectives despite advocating an extremist ideology similar to those espoused by al Qaeda and ISIS, yet OBomb'em welcomes them into his administration.
Horowitz is right that all this bungling, corruption, blackballing political enemies, giving aid and comfort to the enemy, and murdering of people that might or might not have some relationship to a terrorist, should have gotten him impeached if not jailed, but the Democrats and the mainstream media saw OBomb'em as their Great Black Hope, so no one even dared mention impeachment. Liberals stay obsessively, resolutely nonracist, nonprejudiced, and irritatingly politically correct, but—in so doing—they become blind to the corruption and traitorousness right in front of their PC little noses. See The Corruption Chronicles: Obama's Big Secrecy, Big Corruption, and Big Government.
But in spite of Horowitz's grasp of the corruption, anti-Americanism, and main screwups of Obama and his minions, in The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama: Black Book of the American Left: Volume VII he gets a lot more wrong than he gets right. Let us look at these, after inserting a bit of context.
Horowitz runs the conservative think tank The David Horowitz Freedom Center, which combats the efforts of the radical left and its Islamist allies to destroy American values and disarm this country as it attempts to defend itself in a time of terror. The leftist offensive is most obvious on our nation’s campuses, where the Freedom Center protects students from indoctrination and intimidation. We heartily support this center's attempt to combat political correctness excesses and the way this PC stuff is wrecking American universities and we are glad they try to help us keep our eye on the ball regarding Muslim Brotherhood and radical Islamist intentions. This center is best seen as a School of Political Warfare against radical leftists (e.g., Obama).
Horowitz has stated "Islamists are worse than the Nazis, because even the Nazis did not tell the world that they want to exterminate the Jews." These radical types of statements have gotten him into trouble, even though he is agnostic and not Jewish (but he used to be). Besides, this radical statement is illogical on its face, since doing evil is worse than speaking evil.
Horowitz also published a ludicrous book called The Anti-Chomsky Reader, in which he tried to match wits with the preeminent American intellectual and activist Noam Chomsky. He failed miserably and was outclassed and "out-thunk" at every turn.
Horowitz's books, think tank, websites and speeches all smack of a rightwing propaganda type of feel, as if he had been hired by the G.O.P. to proselytize their planks, platforms, ideology, and positions. You can imagine the G.O.P. around election time getting Horowitz to put together a tell-all pamphlet, an expose, or even a hit piece that demonizes the political opponent on the left. Perhaps he simply does these things anyway, unbidden (?). He is certainly a preeminent rightwing ideologue, possibly a man obsessed (?).
Having made our case that Horowitz appears to hate Islamists, the left, progressives, and leftist wrecking of our educational institutions, let us look into the myriad pratfalls in The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama: Black Book of the American Left: Volume VII:
The Communist threat is our reason for propping up dictators in Central and South America and conducting terrorism against Cuba. Wrong: that was our cover story. The U.S. was simply protecting the interests of the Corporatocracy, and freedom fighters wouldn't sell their countries out to our Corporatocracy, but, for enough money, dictators would.
The U.S. went to Iraq (weapons blazing) to democratize it and search for WMDs. Wrong: that was our cover story. The U.S. was simply getting it hands on oil and minerals and the drug trade and enriching Corporatocracy oligarchs like Cheney and his Halliburton pals as they rebuilt what our military wrecked, leaving the U.S. taxpayers to foot the bill for both wrecking and rebuilding.
Henry Wallace, humanist
Henry Wallace (in the 1940s) was unpatriotic for opposition to American “militarism” and rejection of the Cold War policies. Wrong: Horowitz was all knickers-in-a-twist over Henry Wallace's opposition to American “militarism” and rejection of the Cold War policies rightwingers like. Henry Wallace was a true American hero of the 1940s, a "visionary" on both domestic and foreign policy, one of the smartest and wisest politicians who ever lived. Wallace opposed the cold war, the arms race with the Soviet Union and racial segregation. He was a strong advocate of labor unions, national health insurance, public works jobs and women's equality, and was the New Deal's evangelist. He did the work, FDR got the credit.
The candidacy of Henry Wallace defined itself by opposition to American “militarism” and rejection of the Cold War policies, and the more one learns about history and neocon greed and empire building aspirations, the more you realize Wallace could have kept us from spending a king's ransom on unnecessary hot and cold wars and weapons build-up all just to appease hawks and banks and the Corporatocracy. Henry Wallace was a humanist who attempted to stop the nuclear bombings of Japan. Wallace, on NBC radio, accused Truman of “betraying” Roosevelt’s vision for world peace, and Albert Einstein agreed. As do we. See The Concise Untold History of the United States.
Horwitz strongly disagrees with Wallace's opinions. Horwitz seems to be a poster child for rightwing attitudes and warmongering aspirations, buying into the ludicrous hawk-think notion that warmongering will help keep us "safe." Those of us, like Chomsky and Wallace, for instance, who research these matters more deeply and have minds more open to learn, know that warmongering—whether in Vietnam or Iraq or Afghanistan or Syria or elsewhere—makes us LESS safe (a perspective shared by the vast majority of people on Earth).
Horowitz cannot bear the truth about the unnecessary Vietnam War. We were not "saving the world from dirty commies," we were empire building and exploiting resources. The left sensed that and tried to stop this huge waste of lives and money. The other countries mostly saw the truth of what was happening and they tried to get us to desist. When we wouldn't, China, the USSR, North Korea all pitched in to nullify our actions so we'd wise up and go back home. Our leaders quickly saw the North Vietnamese were never going to back down since they were getting an infinite supply of aid. The shameful aspect of the war beside the war crimes was that our leaders (e.g., Robert S. McNamara) knew it was a lost cause and yet kept sending our young men there to fight and often die or get crippled. They were embarrased they were going to lose and their egos couldn't cope. So they kept up the black and white thinking (we good, you bad) as well as stupid thinking like good must triumph over evil—even though we were no more good than the "enemies." Or if we keep wearing them down, they'll quit—although it was the U.S. that was wearing down, not the North Vietnamese.
The biggest lesson McNamara learned from the Vietnam War was “We must try to put ourselves inside their skin and look at us through their eyes,” McNamara said. The American failure in Vietnam, he said, was seeing the enemy through the prism of the cold war, as a domino that would topple the nations of Asia if it fell, which turned out to be poppycock, illogical, and foolish dogmatism. They felt about the U.S. interference there the same way we would feel if they had interfered in the USA: Get out now—you have no business being here and starting trouble. McNamara, a haunted, sad, guilty man, went back to Vietnam twice to apologize, 30 years later. That won't bring back the 58,000 American soldiers that died there for nothing or the hundreds of thousands seriously wounded. McNamara sees the huge disaster that was generated from his black and white thinking.
We support our troops 100%, but cannot support neocon's greed-based empire building, country exploiting, and warmongering. Here's an idea: how about starting to respect our troops (and stop using them as cannon fodder) and only ask them to do defensive actions they can live with (like WWII) and that do not generate PTSD from guilt, actions needed to defend the U.S.? If the U.S. would simply get out of the Mideast, the terrorism would diminish since most of it is reactive.
Here's an idea: how about starting to respect our troops (and stop using them as cannon fodder) and only ask them to do defensive actions
Given all of the above, one wonders if Horowitz could use McNamara's insights "to put ourselves inside their skin and look at us through their eyes" with regard to his total dismissal of the progressive/left's point of view. Most people (except the neocon warmongers and the oligarchs who profit from wars) see the Vietnamese War, the Iraq War, and the Afghanistan War to all be terrible mistakes. Is Horowitz really going to stubbornly cling to obsolete extremist positions that are little more than the error of black and white thinking? Horowitz cannot bear the truth about the unnecessary Vietnam War, what it meant about our country, our leaders, our obsession with settling everything by use of violence, and our facade of superiority, Christian self-righteousness, and moral certainty, all of which ineffectively cover our guilt, embarrassment, humiliation and moral confusion. McNamara faced his demons. What will Horowitz do?
In the 20th century, progressives worked as apologists, appeasers and enablers on behalf of a global movement openly dedicated to the destruction of their own country. Wrong: Progressives saw—and were appalled by—neocon fanatics building American Empire by ravaging various countries (e.g., Central America), killing leaders, installing dictators and death squads trained in the U.S., all in the name of wealth for the oligarchs in our Corporatocracy. The progressives tried to halt these war crimes which the international courts recognized and condemned, and they tried to stop the murderous Contras, and rein in the warmongering hawks. This is decency. This is humanitarianism. This is peacemaking. This is progressives trying to get our country to conform to international laws. This is true patriotism. Progressives were not FOR the communists, they were for a counterforce to fanatical neocon warmongering from the U.S. CIA and military and U.S.-hired mercenaries and assassins. The communists were a counterforce that often was not even that effective, but they helped create balance in a world the U.S. was exploiting ravenously.
One of the hit men—called jackals—the U.S. sent to kill Central American leaders they didn't like
Could Horowitz actually be naive enough to believe that it would have been better if there'd been NO counterforce to American imperialism?! Horowitz again does too much black and white thinking: we good, they bad, no greys here. We smart, you dumb, we right, you wrong. This is dogmatism in need of clearer thinking.
Once we helped win WWII, the U.S. was the main strong superpower and our U.S. hawks wanted to take this once in a lifetime opportunity to exploit as many economic opportunities as possible which they unfortunately acted on by exploiting other countries and their people and resources. They wrecked economies, plunged countries into debt, wrecked environments as they ravaged various resources, destroyed political systems while installing dictators, destroyed freedom for millions. Our Corporatocracy failed to see these countries' people as human beings—they were numbers, statistics, inconveniences, and collateral damage. We dehumanized them as we exploited them, all in the name of corporate profits. See A Game As Old As Empire: The Secret World of Economic Hit Men and the Web of Global Corruption.
The U.S. acts like MIGHT MAKES RIGHT, yet they are often proving beyond doubt that MIGHT MAKES DUMB!
Horowitz fails to see that while we were keeping the world safe from dirty commies, the commies were doing a fair job of keeping the world safe from dirty yankee exploitation. So we fought proxy wars. He sees commies as a global movement openly dedicated to the destruction of the USA ("we will bury you"), but this idea was not generated by commie crazies obsessed with world domination regardless of their rhetoric. They knew the U.S. would prevent any world domination by commies, so they knew they'd have to settle for stopping world domination by USA. In truth, they were afraid of us because of our extreme, obsessive weapons build-up and fanatical neocon warmongering, and their rhetoric and proxy wars were REACTIVE, since the U.S. was extremely dangerous as a lone power—acting like a bull in a china shop. The world situation was delicate and the balance of power needed to be maintained at all costs.
The U.S. was/is acting like a bull in a china shop: the world situation was/is delicate and the balance of power needed/needs to be maintained at all costs
Notice that a U.S. oligarch is the one burying democracy, NOT communists!
Once the USSR collapsed, their fears were realized when the U.S.'s empire building aspirations went through the roof. The good news is that our American neighbors to the south in Central and South America knew enough to throw out our propped up dictators in the late 20th century. But in Iraq and Afghanistan we showed we hadn't learned a damn thing in the Vietnam debacle, and those Mideast wars were a disaster that wrecked two countries and created ISIS just so a few greedy U.S. industries could get richer (aircraft, weapons, construction, private military, the CIA-managed drug empire, oil, minerals). Unfortunately, the wealth they acquired came mostly out of the pockets of the American taxpayer. In sum, whenever neocon thugs got a wild hair up their butts, the citizens paid the price.
Dubya thought of himself as a Crusader out to cleanse the world of evil Islamists
Vietnam War—a terrible waste of lives
Iraq War—a terrible waste of lives
The scorecard here is: millions of Mideast citizens dead and wounded and homeless, and thousands of U.S. military citizens dead and wounded as millions in the U.S. (due to banker greed and irresponsibility leading to the 2008 crash) got a lower standard of living and lost homes and retirements, and all of these unnecessary evils were so a few wealthy banks and oligarchs could stuff already overflowing bank accounts. The commies' fears had been justified: take away the balancing force against U.S. empire building and the "lone superpower" goes mad with power. But instead of taking over the world, they shot themselves in the foot. Pogo said it best: "We have met the enemy and he is us." The U.S. neocons choked on their own greed. But it isn't either the neocons or the oligarchs that are paying the price. The game is rigged so that the nonrich U.S. citizens are paying the price—and it's a steep price.
Horowitz's problem is that he spent too much time drinking the Kool-Aid—he is now blind drunk on the stuff
Instead of taking over the world, the U.S. imperialists shot themselves in the foot
These are some of the main things Horowitz is repressing—he's in denial, but not because he is dumb. He isn't. He's a smart guy. His problem is that he spent too much time drinking the Kool-Aid. The P.R. experts the Reagan people hired to proselytize their planks, platforms, ideology, and positions for his first and second presidential campaigns were not just good, they were the best that money could buy. They duped the country into buying a pipe dream of enormous destructive power:
"Neoliberalism . . . has played a major role in a remarkable variety of crises: the financial meltdown of 2007-8, the offshoring of wealth and power, of which the Panama Papers offer us merely a glimpse, the slow collapse of public health and education, resurgent child poverty, the epidemic of loneliness, the collapse of ecosystems, the rise of Donald Trump. . . . neoliberal theorists advocated the use of crises to impose unpopular policies while people were distracted: for example . . . the Iraq war." The freedoms offered under neoliberalism were amazing—BUT ONLY FOR THE RICH. The nonrich LOST freedoms—and, eventually, they lost democracy itself as well as freedom of the press. (Source: Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems, George Monbiot, The Guardian) See also Democracy—an American Delusion and Freedom of the Press—an American Delusion.
Horowitz's idol, Reagan, was given 3x5 cards of stuff to say in meetings—otherwise, the man came up empty; the neoliberal con he sold the U.S. has done and is doing incredible harm
Reagan duped the country into buying a pipe dream of enormous destructive power: Neoliberalism
When neoliberalism fell apart in 2008 there was . . . nothing. So it staggered on like a zombie, refusing to die, but still efficacious at destruction, misery production, disempowerment, misleading, and confusing. Horowitz still drinks the neoliberal Kool-Aid, not tasting the sour ugliness of its taste or smelling the foul stench of its death odor. His only—unacknowledged—alibi for such taste-blindness is the simple fact that the left hasn't come up with a suitable replacement, nor have they given it much thought. Why? Because too many leaders of the left are too busy hypocritically profiting handsomely from the neoliberal scam that robs the nonrich to pay the rich. Too many of the left are in on the con-job of this reverse-Robin-Hood scam, representing nonrich people as they get rich from leading them so it becomes a conflict of interest to walk the walk so they stop at talk the talk, claiming—as the left is wont to do—that they're in it to help the little guy, the common citizen. But they aren't. They are, like most politicians, in it for themselves.
When neoliberalism fell apart in 2008 there was . . . nothing. So it staggered on like a zombie, refusing to die, but still efficacious at destruction, misery production, disempowerment, misleading, and confusing
It was an extreme and unpatriotic agenda when the Democrats demonized George Bush and the Republicans for staying the course in Iraq despite the Democrats’ defection from this terrible mistake. Wrong: It was common sense—it was not adding insult to injury by continuing to interfere in Mideast countries where we had no business being. Dubya knowingly lied us into the unprovoked attack on Iraq and the war that followed, and should have been impeached, but no one had the guts to confront the neocons of the shadow government. So the cowardly Democrats merely dissed Dubya. The extreme agenda was Bush's—let's attack anyone we don't like and dare anyone who doesn't like it to do something about it. (Which is the definition of warmongering.)
Warmongering criminal Dubya
There is no Third Way. There is only the capitalist, democratic way based on private property and individual rights; and the socialist way of group identities, group rights, relentless expansion of the political state, restricted liberty and diminished opportunity. Wrong: First, the capitalist way turned into the oligarchical way with democracy not as a reality but a cover story—a word to say to keep the long con going. The third way is pseudo-democratic oligarchy—what the USA has in 2017. Second, the restricted liberty and diminished opportunity was generated by Dubya Bush and his infamous Patriot Act, nullifying much of the Constitution, not by the "socialist" Democrats. Socialist is a word only, hardly a serious Democratic plan or ideology. (Bernie Sanders probably used it so he wouldn't win—he ran so he could spread some good populist ideas to the candidates and the public.)
But BOTH parties are equally in on, and culpable for, the long con of robbing the nonrich to enrich the overrich. Horowitz needs to memorize the short book Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth & Power, so that he henceforth will understand that the two parties share equally in the blame for the U.S.'s loss of democracy and gain of a corrupt oligarchy that has concentrated wealth into greedy hands that couldn't care less about the fate of the American citizens—even though they love to pretend otherwise.
BOTH parties are equally in on, and culpable for, the long con of robbing the nonrich to enrich the overrich